Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Review: The Monsters of Morley Manor
The Monsters of Morley Manor was such a fun read! My 8 year old picked it up for her summer reading prize at the library. She doesn't enjoy reading quite as much as my oldest, so it's fun when she finds a book that captures her interest! And she is really loving this one. I read it before she got a chance (lucky that Mom reads fast!) She was concerned that it was the werewolves, vampires, mad scientists, wizards, etc that try and take over the world. Turns out they are the good guys!
The story begins: If Sarah hadn't put the monkey in the bathtub, we might never have had to help the monsters get big. But she did, so we did, which, given the way things worked out, was probably just as well for everyone on the planet - especially the dead people.
The story is told by Anthony, who is in 6th grade. He and his little sister Sarah buy a box of figurines from the Morley Manor, a creepy haunted house in their town. They bring them home and one of them accidentally gets wet (Sarah was trying to give Mr. Perkins, her mom's pet monkey, a bath. The book explains that her mom decided she could either have a mid-life crisis or a mid-life monkey. She chose the monkey.) When the figurine gets wet, it starts coming to life. So they eventually dunk all the figurines: Gaspar, the lizard-headed guy; Melisande, the medusa with snakes for hair; Ludmilla, the vampire; Albert, the hunchbacked mad-scientist assistant; and Bob, the were-human (meaning he's normally a dog that turns into a human during the full moon!)
I've got to be honest, I had kind of a hard time remembering which monster was which. The action was fast and fun. The subtitle of the book is A Madcap Adventure, which seems to fit. As they go through the book, trying to save mankind from the aliens trying to take over the ghosts of Earth's dead, they get into all sorts of trouble and meet all sorts of strange creatures! This is a perfect Halloween read!
I enjoyed Anthony's voice, as he is the one telling the story. His sense of humor is adorable and it makes the book fresh and fun. Sarah is the perfect little sister side-kick. This story had tons of twists and turns, but it was such a fun read. I may have to go read some more Bruce Coville!